Harper Government Trashes Another Federal Science Library
Canadians hoping the Harper government’s “war on science” is at last ended – or at least put on hold for the period of the federal election campaign – will be saddened to learn of the destruction this week of yet another federal science library, this time at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Lethbridge Research Centre in Alberta. The library provided about 48 Agriculture Canada scientists, 85 technicians, and numerous visiting workers and students access to decades of valuable, specialized agricultural and scientific information. While some items appear to have been shipped to government facilities in Ottawa, on Monday most of the library’s contents had been either discarded in a dumpster outside the building or sent to recycling. The loss will make access to relevant research more difficult for scientists working in areas as varied as the study of beef, soil chemistry and ecology, rangeland, wheat, canola, potatoes, beans, insect pests, and greenhouse gases.
The elimination of the Lethbridge Research Centre’s library brings to 16 the number of federal science libraries lost due to cuts, closures and consolidations since 2012, when the Harper government introduced sweeping cuts to federal jobs, programs and services.
“The Harper government continues to target government science at every turn,” says Debi Daviau, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, which represents approximately 15,000 federal scientists. “It is time Canadians understood the cumulative loss to federal science—and this week to agricultural science, in particular—of a government whose priorities are clearly out of step with both public scientists and the public interest.”
For further information:
Johanne Fillion, 613-228-6310 extension 2303